We have a single family home with 200 amp service. One main breaker inside the house.

We needed a 220v 40amp power supply outside. Instead of running a circuit from our main breaker, he connected a Main lug only panel w/ 6 breaker spaces to the the source power within the meter can. He pulled the meter to do this, and it IS connected on the correct side of the meter. Can the main lugs in the meter can be double tapped like this and still be within code?

Additional information: there is no main disconnect for the main panel (or the new MLO panel) outside at the meter. There is no shutoff breaker at the MLO panel, but I believe that is standard.

No permit was pulled but part of the terms were that all work would be done within NEC & local code.

  • What's protecting the wire? Nothing, right? Bad news. A feeder like that requires a breaker at the downstream end, at least, and whether that's legal depends on the wire route. Please revise to add more detail on that subject. – isherwood Aug 12 '19 at 19:15
  • How did "he" connect to the lugs in the meter can without shutting off the power? – longneck Aug 12 '19 at 19:58
  • Was he a licensed electrician? Did he pull a permit? What did the inspector say? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 12 '19 at 21:11
  • Did you have an understanding with him that the additional power use would not cost you any money / be billed by the power company? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 12 '19 at 21:50
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    Can you give us the model of the meter base. My home has a meter with 2 lugs and I have a similar setup but only 3 breakers. – Ed Beal Aug 13 '19 at 15:18

Can the main lugs in the meter can be double tapped like this and still be within code?

The short answer is NO. NEC 110.14 States: Terminals for more than one conductor ... Shall be so identified. I have never found a 200A residential 120/240V meter base that had an identified multi-tap fitting, and the utility companies I have worked with forbid it.

That being said, it is allowed to have a maximum of 6 service disconnects at the meter. So it is not unusual to put a small panel beside an existing Main and add an extra breaker and leave space for additions. All that is wrong is that there must be something like a junction box added and tap the conductors there instead of at the lug.

If you electrician balks about it you can always get the AHJ or the utility company involved and see what they have to say. At least I would contact the owner (not the electrician in the field) of the contracting company and see if they want to get them involved as a tie breaker.

Hope this helps.

  • Milbank makes tap lug kits (K4977-INT, K4977-EXT, K5022-INT) available for their 200A meter bases... – ThreePhaseEel Aug 13 '19 at 22:45
  • @ThreePhaseEel Yes but does he have that meter base? – Retired Master Electrician Aug 15 '19 at 1:05

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